015-2020 Extreme Ownership

Title: Extreme Ownership (How US Navy Seals lead and win)

Author: Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

Good morning my fellow readers.

It’s been quite a week already, and now bringing the book review on this book to you will also be quite a treat.

This book was authored by two Navy Seals that have been tried and tested in battle and leadership, and with this book they want to bring those lessons to you to learn from. Quite frankly, I believe that one can learn a few things by going to the military which you might not have learnt otherwise if you weren’t taught them directly.

I started with this book last week Sunday, and managed to finish it off on Friday. With that I don’t mean to brag at all. In fact, I’m only pointing out that I read it in that period because I got hooked quite well from the start of the first chapter, and tried to cover some proper ground every day.

Every chapter was written in the following structure:

  • Scenario in Ramadi (Iraq)
  • Principle learnt (ie. moral of the story)
  • Application in business

Meaning, he plots a few stories in Iraq he faced with his brothers, and slips in the lesson he learnt in that story. Then he takes that principle and breaks down the importance and value of that principle, before applying it to the business life the rest of us find ourselves in.

Also, every chapter brings you a separate principle, so with every chapter you learn one additional thing, but in summary see how all those principles link up to the main principle stated in the book: Extreme Ownership.

Without wanting to give away too much from the book, these are the principles I took away from the book:

  • Extreme Ownership – take ownership of everything within your control
  • There’s no such thing as bad teams, only bad leaders
  • Only if leaders believe in the mission can they make their teams believe as well
  • Don’t let your ego cloud your judgement
  • Cover and Move – teamwork
  • Simple – keep plans and instructions simple, not complex
  • Prioritize and Execute – faced with multiple situations, prioritize and then execute them in order
  • Decentralize leadership – giving lower ranks a voice (and confidence to contribute)
  • Plan for the mission
  • Leadership requires hard decisions – make decisions that best follow the mission

The big message I took away from the book was Extreme Ownership. Take accountability for everything around you so you can lead your team better to achieve ultimate success. This mind-set will break away the habit of becoming defensive and not taking responsibility when something didn’t go right, and maybe even blaming others. It makes you take responsibility as the leader of the group for the failure, and learn from those mistakes to correct your actions for the future.


The book is easy to read, easy to understand and associate the principle with the real-life events. The principles taught are true pointers of what we could see a good leader to possess, and have respect for. Even if we don’t all strive for the ultimate leadership role, small leadership roles can also benefit from these principles in order to exhibit the best leader we can still be. Therefore, the book will take my rating of 4.9/5.

In my opinion, you will get the best value from the book when you read the full story that goes with each principle, and not just any summary. I strongly recommend this to anyone that feels they got a nudge from my review to buy a copy, and really buy yourself a copy, and take notes from all chapters for proper application.

Until next time, keep well!